Swansea Away Lost 1 – 2
Good news in the transfer deadline shake-down – we’ve signed a goalkeeper! Before the game at Swansea was out, we’d also confirmed the acquisition of an international striker, but obviously far too late for him to be involved in this latest failure to secure any points from what looked to be a very winnable game. The Swans seem to have adopted similar tactics to The Saints, and that’s probably why you didn’t see many highlights on Match of the Day. After 37 minutes, though, Forster was forced into the first serious goalkeeper action of the evening, and the first of two very good opening half saves from him when he pushed a shot from Fer away for a corner… trouble was Mawson got on the end of the set piece and apparently sent the ball firmly into the net – we now know from TV that he actually headed it on to Romeu and into the goal via the post. Monsieur Puel couldn’t wait until the usual hour mark to make a change, sending on fit again (or rather, fit at the moment) Boufal for Tadić five minutes early. This improved things immeasurably, although the Moroccan only had a small part in the move that ended with Bertrand crossing invitingly for Long to convert nicely at the near post. With Boufal seemingly having the beating of any of his opponents, Saints were now in the ascendancy, a view encouraged by Redmond’s shot that was tipped over by Fabianski. Unfortunately corners at that end of the ground were to prove Southampton’s downfall and from a subsequent situation a swift breakaway by the hosts was led by substitute Narsingh (a newcomer signed comfortably ahead of deadline day!) and his crossfield ball to Sigurdsson was accurate, although it still required a fine first time finish to beat Forster. For once, you thought a Boufal-inspired equaliser was always possible, but time was against Saints and when a header by Yoshida drifted wide, the game was finally up.
LSSC Man of the Match: Ryan Bertrand, with an assist and a great, but unrewarded, effort to keep pace with Narsingh on that fatal breakaway.